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Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Promote economic growth and decent work for all

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of workers globally were in informal employment.

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As the global economy continues to recover, we are seeing slower growth and insufficient job creation for a surging labour force.

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Even before the pandemic, economic growth had been slowing. The toll has been especially hard on young people, many of whom have not found meaningful work, training or education opportunities.




1 in 4

young people remained out of school, unemployed and untrained.

Although this is modest improvement from 2020, it remains a long way from the 2030 goal of decent work for all young people.

For those in the workforce, the challenging conditions are pushing many into informal employment. Around 2 billion workers were in precarious jobs in 2022. And those who should not be working — children — have seen their ranks in the workforce rise to 160 million worldwide at the beginning of 2020, an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years. That means nearly 1 in 10 children is engaged in child labour.

We need innovative strategies to attain SDG 8 and create full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for youth. A complete overhaul of the global financial system is needed to address rising debt, economic uncertainty and trade tensions. Accelerated expansion of digital solutions can also help, by increasing access to finance among other things.

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Sewing with Love

"When people look at me, they are surprised and ask how I do this,” says Zahra Hussainzada, participant in a UNDP-supported women-only market day in Afghanistan. “I answer with a smile and say that disability is not a limitation; my legs may not work, but I thank God that my hands are healthy, and I sew with love."

In a country facing political upheaval and at risk of universal poverty, UNDP takes a targeted approach to creating jobs and fighting poverty, working directly with women entrepreneurs to help their businesses thrive. Country-wide, the ABADEI programme has supported more than 34,000 women-led businesses and is now helping them reach new markets, including overseas.